As a quick Ebay search can tell you, Rocketeer merchandise has really run the gamut in terms of price and quality. While a lot of higher end products have come out in recent years, 1991 was a different story. When I was 11 years old I would have killed for a Rocketeer action figure. Unfortunately, the closest thing available was a Bend-Em, which I always thought was closer to a dog toy than a G I Joe. One exception is my favorite piece of merchandise from back then - The Rocketeer glider offered by Pizza Hut with their Kid's Pizza Pack in 1991.
More than just a cheap paper airplane destined fo the trash. The glider was constructed of thick cardstock with anchoring tabs, reinforcements and adjustable flaps..
One of the things I love most about the glider is the amount of detail that went into the artwork. A lot of the Rocketeer merchandise released in 1991 tended to show an almost cartoon version of The Rocketeer with a solid colors, and the same 3 poses recycled ad nauseum. In fact, if you look closely at the above mailer, you will see a much less detailed version of the glider. This is in stark contrast to the level of the production gliders, and especially the rocket pack. They even went so far as to add the hand controls complete with a little throttle button. It's amazing when you consider it was essentially a happy meal toy, 75% of which probably never made it out of the restaurant.
Another great feature of The Rocketeer glider was that it was extremely durable. The one pictured is the same glider I acquired on a trip to Pizza Hut in 1991. In addition to surviving numerous flights from the second story of our house it, it was eventually fastened to the ceiling fan and spent the next 5 years circling the room at high speed. Luckily this original glider survived all those years intact and while it has probably flown its last flight, it can now enjoy retirement in my Rocketeer collection. I also aquired this un-punched version. "CAUTION: Watch out for others while flying"
Purchase location: Pizza Hut